Written by David Castellon
The number of passengers passing through Fresno Yosemite International Airport reached a record number last year — 1.96 million people.
That’s an 11% increase over over the previous record of 1.77 million passengers in 2018, and 68% growth since 2010, airport officials reported Wednesday afternoon.
“With more travelers using Fresno Yosemite International Airport as their airport of choice, our airline partners continue to meet this demand by expanding flight schedules, transitioning to larger aircraft and adding service to new destinations,” Fresno’s Director of Aviation Kevin Meikle said in a press release.
“Strong passenger activity is an important part in growing air service for our region and sustains FAT as a major engine of economic development and job creation.”
The release goes on to say seat capacity offered by airlines serving FAT (the airport’s Federal Aviation Administration identifier code, short for Fresno Air Terminal) continues to outpace industry averages. In fact, the number of airline seats available on planes coming and going from FAT from January 2019 to this month increased by 12.5% compared to the 4.7% average gain among airports of similar size over the same period, and the Fresno average is four times the average seat gains experienced at all airports nationwide, the release continues.
FAT’s seat gains for flights to the Guadalajara region in Mexico increased 19.1% this month alone, compared to the same month last year.
Expanded flight frequencies, transitions to larger aircraft and new destinations through FAT in 2019 included:
— New twice-weekly international, nonstop service to Leon, Mexico by Volaris Airlines
— Service between FAT and Chicago by United Airlines increasing from seasonal to year-round flights
— Added seating on United Airlines mainline flights to Denver by using a larger Airbus aircraft on one of four daily flights
— Mid-day American Airlines mainline service to Phoenix offered on the larger Airbus A319 aircraft
— Added seat capacity to Salt Lake City with the transition from the Bombardier CRJ aircraft to the larger Embraer E175 aircraft on Delta Airlines
As for 2020, the airline capacity coming in and out of FAT is expected to increase through:
— Frontier Airlines increasing its frequency of flights to Denver from three weekly flights to four, starting in April
— Alaska Airlines mainline service to Seattle operating with larger Airbus aircraft on one of four daily flights starting in May
— Alaska Airlines offering a fourth daily flight to San Diego starting in May